Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd, who was a former NCR chief executive officer, has died.
Hurd, 62, had been on medical leave. Oracle confirmed his death but did not disclose the cause on Friday.
“It’s just devastating news. He was such a very strong leader,” said Bruce Langos, who worked for Hurd for a decade at NCR and then became chief operating officer of spinoff Teradata. “To be honest with you, he is probably one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. So witty and fast on his feet. He was a numbers guy and he never forgot a thing.”
Hurd capped a 25-year career at then Dayton-based NCR with a two-year stint as CEO before leaving in 2005 to take the top job at Hewlett-Packard.
“It was a loss when he left. We were really kind of hoping and banking on him staying with NCR for some time,” said Phil Parker, president and CEO of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. “If Mark Hurd would have remained at NCR, NCR would have remained in Dayton.”
He is survived by wife, Paula, and two daughters.
Langos said Hurd took the lead on the decision to buy California-based data warehouse technology that NCR used to create its Teradata subsidiary. Rolled out in 1996 when Hurd was vice president of marketing for computer systems, a Dayton Daily News article at the time says the “cutting-edge computer system” was capable of holding 11 terabytes of information.
At the time, Langos said, no one envisioned that data warehousing would become a major business segment, allowing companies to store and analyze massive amounts of data, far more than that initial 11 terabytes.
“He thought of things differently. He wasn’t really a technologist. But he was business-astute,” Langos said, now director of the criminal intelligence unit at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
Hurd realized that NCR customers were collecting huge amounts of data but didn’t know “how to mine their data and turn it into something,” Langos said.
Hurd was the senior vice president of NCR’s Teradata Solutions Group from 1998 to 2000 when he was named chief operating officer of NCR. He became chief executive officer and a member of the NCR board of directors of NCR in March 2003, succeeding Lars Nyberg who became chairman.
His time at NCR was marked with rapid growth.
NCR spun off Teradata in 2007. Two years later, under the leadership of Hurd’s replacement, CEO Bill Nuti, NCR announced it was leaving Dayton for Georgia. That cost Dayton 1,250 jobs and its last Fortune 500 world headquarters.
Teradata last year announced it was moving its headquarters to San Diego, costing the region another 300 jobs.
Parker called Hurd a visionary who saw the opportunities of the digital age for NCR and that made him a prime target for a huge technology company like HP, and later Oracle.
Parker said Hurd also “was a fantastic man. He loved Dayton.”
“While he was here, Mark was a very community-oriented community leader,” said Parker. “That was very similar to the past history of NCR.”
Hurd has been recognized for helping bring the 2005 U.S. Golf Association Senior Open to NCR Country Club in Kettering.
Hurd took a leave of absence from Oracle a month ago for health reasons. Larry Ellison, Oracle’s founder and chairman, said at the time that he and co-CEO Safra Catz would take over his responsibilities.
Ellison says he will miss his “close and irreplaceable friend.”
Hurd joined Oracle as co-president in 2010 a month after resigning from HP. His resignation came after accusations of sexual harassment by a female contract worker and findings of inaccurate expense reports connected to outings with the contractor. An investigation found he had not violated HP sexual harassment policies, according to the Associated Press.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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